Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wolverine Day 46

Rock on!

Today's post is dedicated to a true fan of mine and a good buddy, Larry. I hope you like it Pal.

Gerry :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sexy Cameras shots!

Just having some fun with my macro setting, the rule of thirds and part of my camera collection. I don't know what it is but there is something about the look of old cameras that I just love. Enjoy those sexy camera shots.  :)

Olympus OM-10
Yashica Electro35 GSN

Olympus Trip 35
Carena RS
Minolta SRT SC-2

All pictures were taken in my homemade lightbox.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wolverine Day 45

The heat is on!

 Dedicated to my friend Zac. We miss you buddy, give us a call.

Gerry :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wolverine Day 44

Applying the rule of thirds as explained in yesterday's post.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The one thing you should know for making great pictures.

The one thing you should know for making pictures doesn't cost a dime. Everything rest in the composition of the image. Everything else is butter over that simple principle. All the expensive gear and doodads in the world can't help you a bit if you don't know how to compose a great picture.

So here's the basic guideline that has been used for hundreds, yes hundreds, of years since Leonardo Da Vinci to compose superb looking images: The rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds is simple, all your images should be divided along a grid of three vertical and horizontal sections. So if we take something simple like a sunset on a beach, you should have one third beach and two thirds sky, or vice versa. This will make a balanced image. This applies to anything else you shoot.

Every image you want to compose should be divided along these lines. Should, not have to. This rule like all others is meant to be broken at some point.

Now that's all fine and dandy but the real important part is the point of focus. That's what you want the viewer to look at first when going over the image. In the case of the sunset mentioned before, the sun would be the point of focus. But where to put it? Here's the kicker, the point of focus should be at or near one of the intersections of those lines that make up the grid.

Points of focus should be at one of those intersections

Here's how I do it in the real world. I have a grid on my view screen that divides it in 9 equal sections, 3 lines vertical, 3 lines horizontal. I find the subject that I want as my point of focus, half press the shutter to get it in focus and then place it at one of the intersection of the grid where I think it looks good and that most of the image is equally divided in three sections. I shoot and I'm done.

The point of focus here is her eye. The horizontal is divided with hair, face and chest. The vertical is background, front in light of the subject and the darker back of the subject.

Take a look at great paintings, TV, films and commercial ads and you'll see that the rule of thirds is applied everywhere. For some unkown reason, the human eye is attracted by that set up.

This one was taken on the fly. My point of focus was the Fireman on the right. I focused the subject and then composed the image. Horizontal sections are top of truck, people and car/stretcher. Vertical is truck/car, smashed front/firemen and front of truck/stretcher.

Have fun taking pictures.

Gerry :)

Wolverine Day 43

I can't stand that guy!

More from the shoot at Legends Action Figures.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wolverine Day 42


Wolverine being a player!

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wolverine Day 41

Well played condition Wolverine hanging out with a couple of his loose mint brothers at Legends Action Figures.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A great SLR photography primer video

If you've been thinking about going analog and buying an SLR, here's a great video primer to get you started. It presents the basics of what you need and what to do.

This is for an all manual camera. None of that automatic stuff.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wolverine Day 40

Knock! Knock!

Taken at Legends Action Figures here in Montreal.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wolverine Day 39

Wolverine in a film noir setting.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taking better pictures to sell small stuff on Ebay.

One of my older efforts

One thing that I can't understand is how some sellers actually manage to sell their stuff on Ebay with horrible pictures. You want to have a nice picture to make people fall in love with your item. I always had the first picture to be the "beauty shot" and the others were of a more descriptive nature.

It's quite simple to do, it's all a question of lighting, placement, the right setting on your camera and a decent background.

The first step is to find the macro setting on your camera and learn how to use it. Lost your manual? It's online somewhere a Google search away, find it and read it. While you are there look up the brightness setting as well. Sometimes it's hard to get just the right lighting and this feature allows you to fine tune it.

Now that we have the camera all figured out, lets look at lighting. Lighting should come from the side and bounced off the other side by something white. Make sure that your light source is diffused with a piece of paper in front of it. Raw light, from a light bulb let's say, will leave ugly white spots. The best thing is a light diffusing box like I have here. They are simple to make with cardboard, tracing paper and scotch tape.

Here you see the light diffused by the tracing paper of the box, a piece of white cardboard on the left to bounce the light back. The subject is on a piece of black velvet paper. It looks like crap but it works.  :)
Next thing is a good background. Find something with no pattern to deter attention from your piece with a contrasting color. Lay it so that it goes from the "floor" and then bends over the back "wall" so as to show no crease at the bottom.

Looks good but it's two dimensional missing depth.
Lastly it is important on how you show off your piece. We tend to take pictures of an object so to show the more details. What happens then is that the piece is flat and becomes more of a 2D image with no depth. A 3/4 view is a lot better even if you lose a bit of the detail of the piece. Use your placement to show off the most important part, the one that will hook the viewer. Don't be shy and fill the image with as much of your subject as you can. You can always take other shots to show more details but those should be secondary shots, not your main one.


Hope this helped.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wolverine Day 38

Captain Who? Taken at Legends Action Figures.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Exposure Calculator slide rule

I'm a special kind of guy. I like old things that still work. Old manual cameras are a new thing for me but way before that I collected slide rules. Well, I still do.

Some cameras like the Pentax pictured here have an integrated light meter. Some, like this one, have a battery that is hard to find and some just don't exist anymore.

Comes this nice little piece of free cardboard slide rule technology to save the day. You can download here for free thanks to the hard work of Andrew R Lawn who took the time to make it. Print it on card stock, cut it and assemble it.

Even for a camera with an automatic speed shutter set-up like my Olympus OM10, the results are not always perfect. Case in point both shots below. The first one was taken with the camera taking control of the shutter speed (1/500) and second one taken manually by referring to the chart on the calculator (1/1000). Both shots were taken in the same lighting conditions with 400 ISO Fuji film.

This shot is overexposed

This is a lot better

The calculator is easy to use. Line up your film's ISO setting with the lighting conditions on the scale and you'll get the proper shutter speed for the aperture setting you choose. On the back you even have a guide with more specific situations. A great piece of kit that no one should be without.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wolverine Day 37

Who's your Daddy?

Wolverine kicking some blue Smurf butt. Victims and studio graciously supplied by Legends Action Figures here in Montreal. :)

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wolverine Day 36

"Dude, you almost missed the post today!"

Almost missed it!

thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wolverine Day 35

Spent the night in the hospital waiting for this guy. Well worth the wait.  :)

My Grandson

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wolverine Day 33

This post is dedicated to our loyal readers in India.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Montreal Street Art

It can't be more Montreal than this piece

Call it vandalism or art, one thing for sure it sure is colorful and it makes great photography subjects. Montreal is filled with good looking stuff.

Everytime I spot a good looking one, I make it my mission to take a decent shot of any piece of street art. After all street art is accessible to all, as it should be.

Hope you like them and thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wolverine Day 32

"Don't touch my bike!"

A spin off of yesterdays shoot. In Black and White with the prop.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A study in Macro Black and White

My recent purchase of a Minolta Z1 has proven to be interesting. It's in no way near what my Nikon can do but it still has some potential. I've decided to dedicate it to Black and White.

In order to see its potential, I took my bike bottle opener off my key chain and decided to take some shots. The Minolta has an awesome macro lens and I'm pretty happy with what came out of the exercise.

Hope you enjoy the shots.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wolverine Day 31

Wolverine and my trusty Vostok watch. This post is dedicated to our loyal fans in Moscow Russia.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

My New Camera, 1940 JEM 120

I got lucky over the week end and picked up this beauty for $15. The 1940 JEM 120 manufactured by The J.E.Mergott Company takes 120 film which is still available and I happened to have an expired roll in the freezer.

The JEM is very simple to operate. It has 2 settings: "I" for instant and "T" for timed. The instant is 1/30th of a second according to some info on the web and timed is the same as bulb mode where the shutter stays open until you get your finger off the release button or crank arm in this case.

The camera's only settings
I read that this simple box camera made of tin is sometimes prone to light leaks. So I didn't take any chances and taped around the door with black hockey tape after loading it.

The camera has a set aperture which is around f/11 from what I've found out. I've taken some beauty shots after a good clean up and I'm in the process of using up the 8 available shots. I'll post them when I'm done.

That would be exposure #6

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Wolverine Day 30

Wolverine and his pal Chuck, Yeager that is.  :)

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wolverine Day 29

Come on Bro, break for it! Don't waste your time with these losers.

While on Photo Safari with Wolverine we came across a jailed brother of his.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Photographing Montreal Chinatown at night

Chinatown here in Montreal is small but very lively. I really feel like I'm in another country when I go there. I guess it's like traveling on the cheap and fast.

Restaurant Sai Gwan is a classic Mom and Pop operation.

I love the colors, the variety in the images and the fact that I can't make out what is written everywhere! The letters now become part of the decor when they have no meaning for you.

Up those stairs is the restaurant where my parents used to go when they were dating back in the early 60's
This is a perfect example for the rule of 3 in composition. For those wondering, an image should be divided in 3 horizontal sections and 3 vertical sections to please the eye. There are exceptions of course. :)

Hope you enjoy the images, thanks for watching.

Gerry :)